For some years now the STA’s January meeting takes the format of a panel of experts outlining their views for different markets over the coming year. This week it was a team with a twist, thought up by Head of Programmes Tom Hicks – they were all members of the Executive Committee of the STA. Moderated by me, Nicole Elliott (the society’s blogger at large), I was to encourage debate with the audience (and was tempted to instigate a ‘shareholder revolt’).
Slick and interesting Power Point presentations had been sent in and miraculously all five speakers stuck to their allotted time slots; they had been warned!
Clive Lambert, part of the marketing team, kicked off and Janus-like looked back at 2017 – a year of Trump, Brexit, QE and Crypto mania – while expecting 2018 to be dominated by further stock market rallies, low bond yields, bullish commodities and foreign exchange poised precariously at key levels.
Next Nick Kennedy, our systems and website specialist, who decided that being a technical analyst, his first chart would be one of market fundamentals. A regression of inflation over the last 20 years, he forecasts that short-dated interest rates will rise because of stronger economic growth as counties’ cycles are working in sync. Like Clive and several other speakers, he felt many stock markets would rally though the US dollar was in a secular bear trend.
Another systems and website specialist David Watts was also bullish on equities but worried that so many asset classes were trading at extremes. He favours using monthly candlestick charts as it’s essential to have a good sense of perspective. Like Clive he also touched on the crypto-boom, seeing currencies in bubble territory but blockchain and its technologies becoming mainstream. Click here to see his WD Gann financial table slide.
New kid on the block Ben Tyler, who passed his STA Diploma exam in 2015 and just joined the Board, describes himself as an investor, not a trader, for his family office. Using exponential moving averages with a simple one buy and hold signals are generated. He too favours long term charts, looking back over the last three years.
Rounding things off Richard Adcock of the Journal committee felt that fixed income markets were on the turn, a process of distribution after a secular move to lower yields. He also saw the US dollar weakening with the Canadian dollar potentially the biggest beneficiary (see the momentum scorecard). Rather worryingly he too saw the S&P 500 index as a ‘raging bull’. When economists all hold the same view, my contrarian instinct kicks in. Should I do the same when technical analysts are unanimous in their outlook?
Finally Tom asked the audience to connect to the Wi-Fi and go to www.menti.com with which members could vote on a series of questions he had prepared linked to the presentations we had seen. Interestingly the jury was out as to whether crypto-currencies were today’s tulips.
Members, do look out for the video which I think you will enjoy.